Thirty student lockers from Grant High School, which is undergoing modernization, have been sent to the Kenton Women’s Village, where 14 residents live in tiny houses designed and built by Portland State University students.
Andersen Construction helped retrieve the lockers from a refuse pile at the urging of a small business owner, Eric Ufer, on the Portland School District’s Equity and Diversity Contracting Committee. He heard from a subcontractor on the Grant project that the lockers were headed to a landfill and recommended reusing them instead.
The Kenton village receives services from Catholic Charities, whose employees said the women plan to use the lockers primarily for food storage.
“Food insecurity is such a problem for the women,” said Bernadette Stetz of Catholic Charities. “People having a space to store their food is so important.”
Additional Grant furniture and materials are going to others who can use them, according to a school district news release. Aidan Gronauer, manager for the district’s equity in public purchasing and contracting section, said more reuse of materials is expected as modernization projects continue.
“We know we’ve got four more schools in the pipeline,” he said. “We can do more forward thinking.”